PROJECT RE-LOVED | Kevin Peterson’s Passion for Repurposing Vintage Shines through In Latest Project
LOCAL RESIDENT GIVES THIS 1964 TRAVEL TRAILER NEW LIFE
NAPERVILLE–Kevin enjoys and appreciates a "Vintage" element to everything, from vehicles to buildings. He believes nothing should be discarded and through adaptive re-use and restoration, everything can have a meaningful and continued life.
“I grew up with a father who said that ‘you can do just about anything, if you have the right tools and the right teacher. So, never be afraid of a challenge,’ Kevin says. “With that in mind, this work on the trailer has been wonderfully enjoyable.”
Referring to the 1964 Travel Trailer, a COVID-inspired purchase in November 2020. He and his wife, Janet began discussions on their love of travel and finding a way to travel more, but on their own terms.
‘Influenced by my father, I have built many construction projects and restored and worked on numerous vintage cars and motorcycles since I was nine years old,” Kevin says. “So, this project seemed like a perfect blend of all of that expertise.”
With a refresh of the exterior accent color remaining, the project is about 99% completed. Since November, Kevin gutted the interior and re-designed and re-built the 7 x 10-foot space into a more functional modern design. The remodel included a layout change of the kitchenette and mechanical closet to provide a separate Porta-Potty room and more storage, new lighting, flooring, countertops, cabinets, a new dinette table, microwave, and electric cooktop.
“This was truly a ‘mini house’ project that involved the disciplines of carpentry, cabinet making, woodworking, laminating, electrical, plumbing, painting, staining, etc.,” he says. “I found an old Armoire that I used one of the doors for the Porta-Potty Room and cut the other one up for new drawer fronts. The drawer pulls are from an old 1960's cabinet; the Metal Art Feather (gifted to my wife from a Native-American artist) on the kitchenette face is decorative as well practical, for a towing security strap for the Kitchenette drawers; the Live-edge Walnut shelf was milled from a tree that I had taken down on our property, and most of the wood used on the project is from scraps that I had in my workshop.”
Most importantly, behind every successful renovation or adaptive re-use includes passion and needs to have and tell a story. According to Kevin, without that depth, it is just replacing materials and appliances, and the like, without a soul.
Kevin feels blessed to have a wonderful wife and adult children to share his lifelong passions of renovating spaces throughout his 30 years of owning his architectural practice that included some well-known suburban projects such as:
• A 10,000 square foot Dairy Barn designed to be re-used as a Single-Family home.
• The Woodstock Theater involved the renovation of the original Historic 1920's theater (Ground Hog's Day fame) as well as a major expansion that spans 3/4 of a City block in the Woodstock Downtown area
• The Lake Theater in Oak Park, The Tivoli in Downers Grove, The York Theater in Elmhurst and numerous others.
• The renovation of the historic Bank building in downtown St. Charles also included a major expansion on a very challenging site.
Kevin also stays busy as a Board Member of Kids Matter, The Avery Coonley School, Chair of the Naperville Historic Commission, and a member of the Chamber of Commerce Team B2B, and when time permits, he pursues his other passions of aviation, vintage cars, motorcycles, cooking, art, guitar, and skiing.
He lives life on his terms and shares his talents graciously.
-Kristen Kucharski, Photos Submitted
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